Ecological services are natural ecological processes from which people may benefit. They are an integral part of the ecosystem and therefore difficult to differentiate from the wider Ecological services. In the QuESSA documentation we have adopted the term Ecological services when referring to these functions. Ecosystem services are defined as the benefits people obtain from ecosystems.
This project aims to quantify the ecosystem services derived from semi-natural habitat that may contribute to the development of more sustainable agricultural systems for the main European cropping and farming systems. To fulfil this task the project has formulated the following general objectives:
1) In a sample of the main crop production systems across Europe identify the key semi-natural habitats according to their potential to provide selected ecosystem services based upon vegetation traits.
2) Verify the potential of semi-natural habitats to deliver the selected ecosystem services through field studies in 16 case studies and demonstrate opportunities and trade-offs through mechanistic modelling.
3) To evaluate the economic and non-monetary value of ecosystem services derived from semi-natural habitats and stakeholders’ need (and willingness to pay) for these ecosystem services.
4) To analyse and predict with spatially explicit models the effects of spatial allocation and management of semi-natural habitats on the level of selected ecosystem service provided by semi-natural habitats in farming systems from farm to European scales.
5) To produce guidelines and make recommendations to stakeholders and provide a web-based tool for farmers to enhance exploitation of semi-natural habitats for their ecosystem services provision.